The Power of a Black Woman There are many uplifting stories about people who change the narrative within their lives. People who know struggle all too well, that it has now become a part of who they are. People who had to go without, in order to make ends meet for themselves and their family. People who never gave up on their dreams, because dreaming was better than facing the reality of what is now. People who became completely selfless in order to please their peers and squeeze into a world they could only envision. Nonetheless, we have people like Lena Waithe. An African American woman who grew up in Chicago, Illinois with a plan! At a tender age, Waithe knew that her circumstances would not define her future. Growing up with two strong black women by her side (mother and grandmother), Waithe knew she could overcome anything that was placed in her path. Acting was one of Waithe’s many ambitions, but screenwriting was her passion. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2006, with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts, Waithe knew it was time to fully pursue her career.
Waithe later moved to Los Angeles, California where she quickly landed several jobs: producing, acting and writing. Some of which were, Girlfriends; a sitcom she executive produced, The notorious Queen and Slim, that Waithe co-produced and wrote, The 40-Year Old Version, which became an innovative film for Radha Blank’s career, and so forth. Waithe starred in several Tv shows as well; The Comeback, Master of None, This Is Us, and many more. It’s best to say that Waithe was thriving in her desired career path, which she deserved every bit of and now was considered an Emmy award winning writer, creator and actor. With Waithe’s career flourishing, she decided to create her own company; Hillman Grad Productions. Through her company, she was able to team up with Showtime, to produce, How To Make Love To A Black Woman; a comedy series and The Chi, a drama series that consist of six developing characters in Chicago’s south side. Not only is Waithe a phenom in the television and film industry, Waithe also started a mentorship program (Hillman Grad Mentorship) that roughly consists of 600 actors, 120 writers/directors and 30 producers.
These mentees are of different backgrounds and will provide a safe haven for people who are interested in the entertainment industry and creating a name for themselves. There are many uplifting stories about people who change the narrative within their lives. Lena Waithe, An African American woman who later came out about her sexuality of being lesbian, changed the narrative. She wasn’t just a girl from the south side of Chicago. She was so much more than that. She was Lena Waithe, a woman of stature and grace. Integrity and praise. Lena Waithe became an idol for many people who endured similar backgrounds as she did. She gave hope too many people who were dreamers, because someday your dream could turn into reality and you could change the world by simply being you.
Check out her website at: www.hillmangrad.com
By Georgette Smith